For today’s blog post, I thought it would be fun to list what I thought were the ten best Instagram spots around Honolulu. As much as I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram, I always find myself trying to find Instagram-worthy locations to take pictures of. Even though I am way more comfortable taking pictures behind the camera, I know one day I’ll appreciate the pictures that I’m in. Granted, Instagram has taken photography to a whole new level, but I’m glad that it at least has pushed me out of my comfort zone to produce more creative photos. I would have never done these types of photos ten years ago, but after looking back through these pictures, I’m glad I did. Does it take a lot more work and preparation? Yes! Do I regret any of it? No! I love taking pictures and I feel like they are my version of souvenirs.
The Instagram spots around Honolulu that I’ve chosen are just my own opinion and are not listed in any particular order. I wanted to show how diverse Oahu can be within just a short walk or drive. Hopefully, this list will help you save time if you were interested in taking pictures. Also, if you think I bought all these clothes or they were gifted to me, they were not! Most of these outfits are old pieces that I love and probably only worn once to a wedding or dinner. Taking these photos gave me an opportunity to shoot these pieces again so I’ll always have pictures of these outfits if I ever decide to get rid of them. It makes me happy that I didn’t have to spend any extra money and I got to repurpose outfits that were in the back of my closet from years ago. Okay, enough talking and on with the list. Let me know what you think and if there are any places that I should check out next time!
10 BEST INSTAGRAM SPOTS AROUND HONOLULU
1. Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon and Rainbow
This was one of my favorite spots to take pictures during our trip. I woke up super early so I can catch the sunrise, but the best part is that there’s hardly anyone around in the morning. Also, there are a lot of places where you can take pictures whether it’s the lagoon, the beach, or the famous rainbow on the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel.
2. Byodo-In Temple
Being a fan of Japanese culture and architecture, I knew I wanted to check this temple out. On most of our trips to Hawaii, we rarely have time to explore new places so I was really excited to visit Byodo-In Temple. It’s located inside the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in the way back. We even got a little lost getting there since there aren’t a lot of signs, but finally managed to find the parking lot. It cost $5/person to enter and you can spend as long as you want there.
3. Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
You’ve all probably seen the famous picture with people on the road and the beautiful Hawaiian mountains in the back, right? Well, they don’t allow you to take pictures on that road anymore. We even tried to get up early before the park opened and asked the security guard if we could quickly take pictures. It was a firm “no.” So once the park opened, we decided to wander around a bit and found this beautiful spot near the end of the park access road. It’s a small clearing with a beautiful backdrop of the mountains. The best part is that there’s no one to bother you or kick you out. We literally had the whole area to ourselves.
4. Banyan Trees
These trees are everywhere around Oahu so it’ll be hard press not to find one. The left picture was taken at Ainahau Triangle. It’s a small park with a couple of small banyan trees along the edge of the park. The middle picture was taken at night in the courtyard of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. If you’re going to go at night, make sure you put on bug spray. I got bit a million times by mosquitos. The right picture was taken in front of the Honolulu Zoo. The banyan trees here are massive and their branches drop all the way to the ground.
5. Sandy Beach
I had every intention of taking pictures of myself here during sunrise. Unfortunately, it was so windy that it was nearly impossible. The wind was so strong that I had to hold my camera and tripod the whole time. Otherwise, it would have fallen over even with me hanging my backpack on it. Also, the waves were too unpredictable. One moment it’ll be calm and the next moment I would be knee-deep in water. I decided that I would just focus on the sunrise instead and Mother Nature did not disappoint.
6. Lanikai Pillbox
I couldn’t believe this was my first time hiking this trail. If you want to take a picture of that beautiful Hawaiian turquoise water, this is your spot. The trail has an amazing view of Lanikai Beach down below (my favorite Oahu beach) so once you finished hiking, you can easily head straight to the beach. You can read more about it here if you’re interested!
7. Prince Waikiki Hotel
Even though you have to actually stay at the Prince Waikiki to get these pictures, I’m still putting this on the list because the views were amazing. Almost every morning, we woke up with a rainbow outside our window, and every night we had unobstructed views of the sun setting. Also, the property is right in front of the marina which provides a different view from your typical Waikiki Beach hotels.
8. Ala Moana Beach Park
This is the place to be if you are looking for a good place to come and watch the sunset. A lot of people were out picnicking and exercising so it felt more like a place for locals rather than a tourist area. If you don’t like the crowds of Waikiki Beach, I would definitely recommend this area. There’s a lot of space for you to spread out, plenty of picnic tables, and great views of Diamond Head and the sunset.
9. Kaupo Bay (Tidepools)
I wanted to find someplace where I could take pictures of tidepools and found this amazing location on the east side of the island. It’s not crowded at all and the water is calm enough for you to go on the rocks. With that being said, a rogue wave did crash onto me and I got soaked from the waist down. Fortunately, it was so hot that my dress dried up pretty quickly. If you weren’t planning on taking pictures, this area would be great just to hang out in and soak in the tidepools with a cold drink in your hand.
10. Royal Hawaiian Hotel
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is probably the most recognizable hotel in all of Oahu. Also nicknamed, “The Pink Palace,” it is hard to not stop by and take a quick picture in front of the building. The property is located right in the heart of Waikiki Beach and has a beautiful garden courtyard and direct beach access. Anywhere you go on the property would be an Instagram-worthy moment.